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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Anatolia| ▸ |Phrygia||View Options:  |  |  |   

Phrygia

Phrygia lies in western central Anatolia (Asia Minor) between Bithynia, Mysia, Lydia, Pisidia, and Galatia. The cities were found in the valleys and high plains between the many high mountains of the land. The native Phrygians, whose inscriptions have not yet been deciphered, fell under Lydian, then Persian, then Macedonian rule. Greek and Macedonian settlers were planted in Phrygia by the Seleucids and Attalids in a mutual rivalry, but northern Phrygia was overrun by Celts (eventually it would become Galatia). After the defeat of Antiochus at Magnesia, Phrygia was assigned to the kingdom of Pergamum in 188 B.C., after which it became intensely Hellenized and first struck coins. Rome took control, along with the rest of the Pergamene kingdom, in 133 B.C.


Kings of Galatia, Deiotaros, Tetrarch 63 - 59 B.C., King 59 - 40 B.C.

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Deiotarus was chief of the Celtic Tolistobogii tribe in western Galatia and became King of Galatia. He was a faithful ally of Rome against Mithridates VI of Pontus, for which he was rewarded by Pompey. Caesar pardoned him for siding with Pompey in the civil war but he was deprived of some of his dominions. After Caesar's death, Mark Antony, for a large payment, publicly announced that, in accordance with instructions left by Caesar, Deiotarus was to resume possession of all the territory of which he had been deprived. When civil war broke out again, Deiotarus supported the anti-Caesarian party of Brutus and Cassius, but after the Battle of Philippi in 42 B.C., he went over to the triumvirs. He retained his kingdom until his death at a very advanced age.
GB88403. Bronze AE 27, SNGvA 6103 (same countermark); Arslan K4; SNG BnF 2333; BMC Galatia p. 1, 1; HGC 7 774 (R2); see RPC I p. 536, aVF, countermark VF, dark brown and green patina, off center, reverse flattened opposite countermark, weight 12.715 g, maximum diameter 26.6 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Phrygian mint, 59 - 40 B.C.; obverse bust of winged Nike right, hair in a bunch behind; countermark: turreted head of Tyche in round punch; reverse eagle standing right on a sheathed sword, wings open, head turned back left, flanked by pilei of the Dioscuri each with a star above, BAΣIΛEΩΣ above, ∆HIOTAPOV below; very rare; $270.00 (€237.60)


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Cotiaeum, Phrygia

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Asklepios is the Greek god of medicine. Hygieia is the goddess of health and Askelpois' daughter. Telesphoros is Asklepios' assistant. Asclepius learned the secrets of keeping death at bay after observing one snake bringing another snake healing herbs. Woman seeking fertility, the sick, and the injured slept in his temples in chambers where non-poisonous snakes were left to crawl on the floor and provide healing.
RP91190. Bronze tetrassarion, SNG München 333; SNGvA 3791; SNG Hunterian 2048; BMC Phrygia p. 177, 95 var. (exergue in two lines...Ω/N); SNG Cop -; SNG Righetti -, Choice VF, well centered, dark patina, highest points flatly struck, small edge split, central depressions, weight 6.308 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, die axis 180o, Cotiaeum (Kutahya, Turkey) mint, Oct 253 - c. Jun 260 A.D.; obverse AYT K Π ΛIK OYAΛEPIANON, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse EΠI Π AI ∆HMHTPIANOY IΠΠ (P. Ailios Demetrios, archon and hipparchos), Hygieia, on left, standing right, feeding serpent in right hand from patera in left hand; Asklepios, on right, standing facing, head left, leaning with right hand on serpent-entwined staff; Telesphoros between them, standing facing, ΛP/X in two lines above center, KOTIAEΩN in exergue; $200.00 (€176.00)


Laodicea ad Lycus, Phrygia, c. 1st Century B.C.

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The boar and the wolf are symbolic of the rivers Kapros and Lykos respectively.
GB88939. Bronze AE 15, BMC Phrygia p. 287, 52; Weber 7129; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -, VF, dark patina, obverse a little off center, porous, weight 3.031 g, maximum diameter 14.6 mm, die axis 30o, Laodicea ad Lycus (near Denizli, Turkey) mint, c. 1st century B.C.; obverse wild bristle-backed boar (river Kapros) standing left, (control monogram) below belly; reverse wolf (river Lykos) standing right, ΛAO∆I/KEΩN in two lines above and in exergue; very rare; $180.00 (€158.40)


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Hierapolis, Phrygia in Homonoia with Ephesus

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This coin commemorates the homonoia (alliance) between Phrygia and Ephesus. Cities in Thrace and Asia minor sometimes formed alliances with other cities. The competition for prestige and rivalry between cities in the East was intense. Alliances could enhance a city’s status by aligning either with many cities or with particularly important ones. Homonoia was part of civic "foreign policy" and might have involved the exchange of delegates and joint celebrations and sacrifices. At least 87 cities issued homonoia coins celebrating their alliances.
RP77254. Bronze AE 35, Franke-Nolle, type VII, 743 (Vs. B/ Rs. 39); cf. BMC Phrygia p. 264, 188; SNG Hunterian 1957; SNG Righetti 1189, aVF, pitting, edge cracks, weight 14.402 g, maximum diameter 34.8 mm, die axis 180o, Phrygia, Hierapolis (near Pamukkale, Turkey) mint, Oct 253 - c. Jun 260 A.D.; obverse AV• KE• - ΠOV ΛIK OYA/ΛEPIANOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, wearing aegis from which two snakes rise; reverse IEPAΠOΛEI/TΩN - K EΦECIΩN, Serapis standing right, kalathos on head holding transverse scepter; to right, Artemis Ephesia facing, resting each hand on the head of a stag, one stag flanking on each side, NEΩ/KO/PΩ/N in four lines in center field, OMONOIA in exergue; big 35mm bronze; very rare; $165.00 (€145.20)


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Hierapolis, Phrygia in Homonoia with Sardis

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This coin commemorates the homonoia (alliance) between Phrygia and Sardis. Cities in Thrace and Asia minor sometimes formed alliances with other cities. The competition for prestige and rivalry between cities in the East was intense. Alliances could enhance a city’s status by aligning either with many cities or with particularly important ones. Homonoia was part of civic "foreign policy" and might have involved the exchange of delegates and joint celebrations and sacrifices. At least 87 cities issued homonoia coins celebrating their alliances.
RP77248. Bronze AE 28, Franke-Nolle, type VI, 857 (Vs.C/Rs.18); cf. SNGvA 3668; SNG Tübingen 4054; Lindgren III 596, VF, tight flan, obscure countermark on obverse, weight 9.924 g, maximum diameter 28.1 mm, die axis 180o, Phrygia, Hierapolis (near Pamukkale, Turkey) mint, Oct 253 - c. Jun 260 A.D.; obverse AY• K• - ΠOY• ΛIK• OYAΛEPAN/OC, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front, round countermark on face; reverse IEPAΠOΛE/ITΩN - KE - CAP∆IANΩN, Apollo on left, standing right, plectrum in right hand, kithara in left hand; cult statue of Kore facing, wearing kalathos and veil, NEOKOPΩN downward in right field, OMONOYA in exergue; very rare; $130.00 (€114.40)


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.

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In 193, Laodicea was sacked by the governor of Syria, Pescennius Niger, in his revolt against Septimius Severus. In 194, Septimius Severus reorganized Syria into five new provinces. One of these, Coele-Syria, including all of northern Syria, briefly had its capital in Laodicea before reverting to Antioch. Septimius sought to punish Antioch for having supported Pescennius Niger. Severus endowed Laodicea with four colonnaded streets, baths, a theater, a hippodrome, numerous sanctuaries and other public buildings in the city. The city was a key strategic seaport for Roman Syria.
RS92310. Silver denarius, RIC IV 492; BMCRE V p. 116, 463; RSC III 433; cf. SRCV II 6331 (Rome mint), Hunter III -, Choice gVF, well centered, nice portrait, uneven toning, light marks, tiny edge crack, weight 1.802 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 0o, Laodicea-ad-mare (Latakia, Syria) mint, 197 A.D.; obverse L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP VIIII, laureate head right; reverse P M TR P V COS II P P, Sol standing left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, whip in left hand; $120.00 (€105.60)


Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D., Aizanis, Phrygia

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Aizanis (Aezani, Aizanoi) was an important political and economic center in Roman times. Surviving remains from the period include a well-preserved Temple of Zeus, an unusual combined theater-stadium complex, and a macellum inscribed with the Price Edict of Diocletian.
RP84892. Bronze AE 20, RPC I 3088; BMC Phrygia p. 34, 85; SNG Cop 83; vA Aizanoi 40; McClean 8744; Lindgren-Kovacs 872, VF, dark patina with buff earthen deposits, tight flan, reverse slightly off center, weight 4.082 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 0o, Aizanis (Cavdarhisar, Turkey) mint, magistrate Klaudios Hierax; obverse AIZANITAI − KΛAY∆ION KAICKAPA, laureate head right; reverse EΠI KΛAY∆I-OY - IEPAKOC, Zeus of Aezanis standing facing, head left, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 28 (2 Jul 2016), lot 252; $105.00 (€92.40)


Eumeneia, Phrygia, c. 165 - 133 B.C.

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Eumenia, Phrygia was founded by Attalus II Philadelphus (159 - 138 B.C.) at the source of the Cludrus, near the Glaucus, and named after his brother Eumenes. Numerous inscriptions and many coins remain to show that Eumenia was an important and prosperous city under Roman rule. As early as the third century its population was in great part Christian, and it seems to have suffered much during the persecution of Diocletian. The remains of Eumenia are located in Denizli Province, Turkey on the shore of Lake Isikli near Civril.
GB84981. Bronze AE 16, SNG Cop 377; BMC Phrygia p. 211, 1 ff.; SGCV II 5138; SNGvA -, VF, attractive patina, well centered, weight 4.169 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 0o, Eumeneia (near Civril, Turkey) mint, c. 165 - 133 B.C.; obverse head of Zeus right wreathed with oak; reverse EYME/NEΩN in two lines within oak wreath; $105.00 (€92.40)


Eumeneia, Phrygia, 133 - 30 B.C.

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"Philokhoros [Greek historian, c. 3rd century B.C.] says that drinkers not only reveal what they are, but also disclose the secrets of everybody else in their outspokenness. Hence the saying, ‘wine is truth also,’ and ‘wine revealeth the heart of man.’ Hence also the tripod as prize of victory in the Dionysia (Festival of Dionysos). For of those who speak the truth we say that they ‘speak from the tripod,’ and it must be understood that the mixing-bowl is Dionysos' tripod...In these they used to mix their wine, and this is ‘the veritable tripod truth.’ Wherefore the tripod is proper to Apollon because of its prophetic truth, while to Dionysos it is proper because of the truth of wine." -- Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae 2. 37f -38a
GB92007. Bronze AE 21, BMC Phrygia p. 212, 13; cf. SNG Cop 382 (magistrate); SNG München 203 (same); SNGvA 3583 (same); SNG Tübingen -, gF, centered on a tight flan, dark patina with highlighting buff earthen deposits, bumps and scratches, weight 7.485 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 0o, Eumeneia (near Civril, Turkey) mint, magistrate Dionysios Philonidos, 133 - 30 B.C.; obverse head of young Dionysos right, wreathed with ivy; reverse tripod lebes with three handles, star above center, star above snake-entwined labrys left, star above filleted laurel-branch right, EYMENEΩN downward on right, ∆IONYΣIOY / ΦIΛΩNI∆ (magistrate's name) downward in two lines on left; very rare magistrate; $100.00 (€88.00)


Laodicea ad Lycus, Phrygia, c. 200 - 133 B.C.

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Laodicea on the Lycus was on the river Lycus (Curuksu), in Lydia, later the Roman Province of Phrygia Pacatiana, now near the modern city of Denizli, Turkey. It was home to one of the Seven churches of Asia in the Book of Revelation. In 2013 the archaeological site was identified as a of World Heritage Site. Its ruins attest to its former greatness. Its many buildings include a stadium, baths, temples, a gymnasium, theaters, and a bouleuterion (Senate House). On the eastern side, the line of the ancient wall may be distinctly traced, with the remains of the Ephesus gate; there are streets traversing the town, flanked by colonnades and numerous pedestals. North of the town, towards the Lycus, are many sarcophagi, with their covers lying near them, partly embedded in the ground, and all having been long since rifled. Laodicea
GB91507. Bronze AE 16, BMC Phrygia p. 284, 29; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; Lindgren -, aVF, dark patina rubbed to bare bronze on highest points, reverse slightly off center, weight 3.437 g, maximum diameter 15.7 mm, die axis 0o, Laodicea ad Lycum (near Denizli, Turkey) mint, c. 200 - 133 B.C.; obverse draped bust of Aphrodite right, wearing stephane, hair in a bun at the back; reverse Aphrodite standing slightly left, head left, draped in long chiton dove in extended right hand, rose on stem in lower left field, ΛAO∆IKEΩN downward on right; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; scarce; $95.00 (€83.60)




  






REFERENCES|

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Catalog current as of Sunday, October 13, 2019.
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Ancient Greek Coins of Phrygia